Sunday, 12 November 2017


It was last Friday that we had this for dinner .... the season here is such that it is licensed to rain though each day can be a rainy day here in the island..... there is heavy down pour since morning.... here is the proof....

All my photographs are taken with my smart phone which does not show any proof of date, but I have a couple of blogger friends from this island ..... far far more known in the food world than me by their own right.... they will agree with me that it is raining right now and is the right time to share a bowlful of MANGSHER KHICHURI ..... khichdi or rice and  dal hotchpotch done with mutton this time. I was wondering why we guys have not met over some coffee or tea a single day ..... Then I know myself well .... I am never so friendly, communicative creature in the vast, unknown social media world and definitely lack the brain to promote myself..... Hence, I just share what I cook and then take refuge to my own world ... capturing those pearl drops and do some "goongoon"..... humming "lagi lagan pati sakhi sang." To all newbies in the food world.... newer than me ..... I am never a good example to follow in any matter.... one who fails to promote herself.... should not be expected to be helpful for others much.... though willing to genuinely. I cannot multi task but at this moment I am writing my food post and at the same time cannot take my eyes off from the television set. I am watching CNN.... S when did you start lying?... trust me I am not..... CNN is featuring an Old Delhi food walk.... and I simply cannot take my eyes off from the paranthe wale gali and the end number of chaats they have to offer. My taste buds have become such that I can have chaats all day through.... Smog or whatever.... at the moment I feel like taking the earliest flight there and savour some goodies, explore same old places of history again with  the same excitement as of a first timer, Delhi Haat is a must for home decors and a humble visit to Sarojini Nagar goes without saying... I do carry "Coach" bags but those are the senior's gifts .... The other day I got a ten dollars shoes on discount for which the senior threatened of filing a divorce.... the one whose torn "kurti" got me fall for him many summers back. Come on this hypocrite is not trying to prove anything, while booking for tours.... she has to have the best facilities in a resort or hotel. I wonder what are we?.... what we have turned to actually?.... my very this man was heavily in to a particular political belief, worked sincerely for it alternatively wearing 2-3 shirts that his father could afford. As I always say.... romance never got us together .... but some qualities of him made the parasitical, cunning fox like me believe I can have a peaceful life with him.... You see it is quite normal that such a khichdi home with a confused ideology will have MANGSHER KHICURI more often on their dining table. Moreover my meat-o-phobic little brother is responding to all my shares he does not like... sweets... prawns... he deserves mutton today though I always tell him social media is not the place to show personal relationships too often..... however we are humans and fail to be politically right always.

The eight years of stay in this island have made me a bit liberated when it comes to food..... within my limits though.... but you remember my friend Paromita Ghosal?... the excellent cook and teacher will find it very upsetting when I am caught having a dumpling soup or bak chor mee or my favourite yong tau fong.... I have to comfort her saying that last Wednesday I waited two hours in one particular Asian store which is the only to sell "tatka tyangra"... that too only on Wednesdays between 3-5pm.... She has trained her daughter well who eats full Bengali meals. What is the scene at my home?.... the son did not touch tyangra... he wants baked Salmon. He is into Bengali food only when it is chicken and mutton curry or chingrir malaikari. I feel awkward when I see my men ordering beef steak... instructing the waiter on whether it has to have less or more blood.... I am that much liberated to accept it and think that other people also feel bad when I cook shutki / hudkir bharta that is fermented fish in my kitchen. May I share a secret?... my not so Bengali men loves shutkir bharta .... haha... you see there has to have a thin thread of attachment to your roots..... and if you are like me you will cook khichdi dishes like shorshe salmon or tandoori mosholai grilled bhetki.... but this MANGSHER KHICHURI of mine is done in the most authentic Bengali way.... doing so I have not followed anyone.... rather would say I did it my way with Bengali spices. I need to finish my post quickly and message Paromita about the tatka tyangra. Mangsher Khichuri is not so common at Bengali homes as is the vegetarian version that we strictly do with cauliflower, potato and green peas or the "bhoger bhuna khichuri" using ghee, kaju, kishmish. I remember once I shared a picture of vegetarian khichuri recipe with carrots and my friend from college Andy.... Aindrila Dutta commented "gajor deoa khichuri" khabona... haha... and she lives in Illinois since 1991! Saying so I am not taking a dig at anyone.... my northern Indian friends can say how come you add so much of sugar on a peas pulao?... just as my southern Indian friends may scream .... S you are adding fruit salt to a khichdi mixture, calling it instant idli and burst into tears... hihi.... the friends from west may vehemently protest when I add all available spices to the fish or chicken fillets and bake them.... you see the island still allows me here even when I cook the very healthy tofu or mushrooms with "jirey ada lonka bata" ..... so spare me of your sticks.... its all for the sake of the food-o-phobics at home. I should stop doing all the silly talks now and share my recipe of MANGSHER KHICHURI ..... a rice, dal and mutton hotchpotch wherein I cooked the mutton and rice-dal separately, mixed together later and simmered for sometime and finished adding a tempering. I was too lazy to take the stepwise pictures. The papad and chutney are missing in the picture because I was running out of them..... you are not bad as me and would have them. I compensated with an "aloo fulkopir dalna" and "raita."

Rice : 1medium cup of Fragrant Basmati or Gobindobhog [I used kalijeera]
Moong Dal : 1/3 medium cup split green gram
Mutton : 500gm medium to small cut
Onion : 2 [peeled, washed, sliced]
Tomato : 1medium [washed and chopped]
Green Chilli : 4slitted
Lemon Juice : 1/4small cup
Bayleaf : 1+1
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3halved
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2+1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tsp [or as you require]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp + 1tsp + 1/2tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp + 11/2tsp
Garlic Paste : 2tsp
Sugar : 2tsp [optional]
Salt : As Required
Ghee : 3-4tbsp
Oil : 4tbsp +2tbsp [authentically mustard]

Wash the mutton and marinate with cumin powder, half of red chilli powder, coriander powder, little turmeric and salt, lemon juice. Mix well and refrigerate in an airtight container at least for 4-5 hours. Take out an hour before cooking.

Heat 4tbsp oil in a wok and temper with a bayleaf. Add the sliced onion and fry till crisp and brown. Take out some to garnish the mangsher khichuri later.

Add 1tsp ginger paste and the garlic paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and let it melt. Add the 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1tsp chilli powder, salt and stir for a minute. Add the marinated mutton pieces along with the marinade. Fold in well and cover.

We will cook the mutton at low heat till all the water dries up and the mutton is tender. Add the cinnamon and cardamom powder and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes more and switch off gas.

Dry roast the moong dal and wash 2-3 times. Soak in hot water for 2 hours. Pour in a deep, heavy  bottomed vessel and add some more water. Put on gas for boil and cover. Wash and soak the rice in enough water at normal temparature.

Once it is about half boiled which may take about 20-25 minutes, add the washed rice and some more water. Keep adding water, little at a time if required.

Add 1tsp turmeric powder and salt, stir. Once the rice and dal mixture is 80% done, add the cooked mutton with all its juices, sugar if using and the slitted green chillies.

Fold in well and simmer for sometime. At no point we will allow the khichdi mixture to burn or get too dry, so the entire cooking is to be done at low heat and to be stirred often. Once done switch off.

Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds, halved dry red chillies and a bayleaf. Add the ginger paste, salt, 1/2tsp cumin and turmeric powder. Stir for 2 minutes and add to the mangsher khichuri.

Transfer to a serving bowl and add the ghee, garnish with crispy fried onion slices. Serve hot with a veggie sides, chutney, raita, papad.